Moyes is a good choice to replace Ferguson
The announcement by Sir Alex Ferguson that he will be stepping down as Manchester United manager after 26 outstanding years dominated the headlines this week and understandably so.
When you look at Sir Alex’s record since he has been at Manchester United, he has no doubt been one of the top managers in world football in the last 20 to 30 years. He’s won everything and has been a credit to the game and has done a great job for football. His predecessor at United, Ron Atkinson, was fired in 1986 after almost five years in the job but Sir Alex’s achievements never suggested he would suffer a similar fate.
In fact, the club left it up to him to decide when he was ready to go. He’s 71 now and only he knew when the time was right and that time is right now, and he’s walking away a winner, having led the club to their 20th league title this season. He’s decided to call it quits, put his feet up in a rocking chair and live a very comfortable and rewarding life through the game of football which has been good to him and his family.
Sir Alex’s achievements of 38 trophies, including 12 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two Champions League titles, will probably never be beaten and already there are huge expectations on the shoulders of David Moyes who will replace him in the summer, having stood down at Everton this week after 11 seasons.
Moyes was recommended for the job by Sir Alex, not totally surprising when you look at what he has done at Everton with not very much money to spend. They used to say the ‘luck of the Irish’ but it must be the ‘luck of the Scottish’ as another Scot has taken over one of the top jobs in football.
Sir Matt Busby, also Scottish, was manager for 24 years between 1945 and ‘69 and laid the foundation and Manchester United is an institution.
It is a big, big club, I would say one of the top three worldwide. I hope that Moyes can continue the success but if he doesn’t then people will get impatient. You are running in some big shoes when you follow Sir Alex Ferguson, but a club like Manchester United has to have that sort of success.
Already some people are doubting that Moyes is the man for the job, but in sport you will have your naysayers and let’s hope he proves them wrong. He seems a very nice man and he has done very well, starting at Preston and then going on to Everton.
Lots of times the fans just want to see silverware and usually they don’t care about the club’s bank account. As long as he’s at Old Trafford he will have the shadows of Sir Alex and Sir Matt looming over him but I’m sure he has prepared himself for it.
It’s nice to see a British manager at one of the top clubs because all the other managers at the top English clubs are foreign. We have to get the British guys there because it is their game and we need to give them the opportunity to perform.
Already Wigan’s manager Roberto Martinez has been tipped to replace Moyes at Everton. I’m sure he won’t be thinking about that too much right now as they have some big games coming up, including today when they meet Manchester city in the FA Cup final. They are also facing the threat of relegation.
Martinez has been loyal to Wigan and wants to stay there to help the club and you don’t find many people like him in football today, because as soon as a better offer comes a lot of people jump off and take it. He’s done a very good job at Wigan, they play good football, and I think he would be the ideal replacement at Everton. Nothing in life is forever and sometimes you have to move on in order to better yourself.
Last week while acknowledging those people who helped my career, I left out one of my good friends, Leroy (Nibs) Lewis. How could I forget him, because if there was anybody who gave me inspiration and helped me along the way it was Nibs. He’s from a footballing family, him and his brothers, Eversley, Fred (Pinks) and the one I really enjoyed playing with, Mel, who was a fantastic player in the Bermuda youth team with me.
I owe a great gratitude to Nibs because he helped me along the way and we’re still pals today, we phone each other once or twice a week. Eversley was a great player, too, and what saddens me about Bermuda is not many people know who he is. He went to play at Aberdeen, a fantastic player and in fact played with Sir Alex Ferguson there in the 1960s. He and Charlie Cooke, who was later at Chelsea, also played together at Aberdeen.